When I was in first grade, I got my first pair of “high heels”. They were maybe half an inch high, just a little kitten heel, but boy did I feel like I had arrived. I absolutely loved the clicking sound they made on the floor when I walked and the pretty shine of the fake leather. I felt so old and so ladylike in those shoes and I let it go to my head.
Something happened when I slipped those babies on. I became Little. Miss. Sass. I felt older so I expected everyone else to treat me like I was older. I became very bossy, telling my little brother and cousin that I was the oldest and they had to do what I said because “the Bible says to obey your elders.” I would turn on my tiny little heel and click clack away expecting what I said to be done. The only thing that was missing was a snap of my fingers. Nevermind that they were only one and two years younger than me. I had high heels on.
I got to wear my new shoes for maybe a week or two before my mom picked up on my little “transformation.” She came to the conclusion that I was far too bossy when wearing them and took them away. I was devastated at the time but I desperately needed to be nocked down half an inch or so.
My shoes, pretty as they were, turned me into someone that I should not have been. I was prideful and vain and snotty. I think we can all attest to the fact that shoes have this power, don’t they ladies? A good pair of shoes can certainly change everything. They add just the right touch to an outfit, changing it from casual to dressy. They can provide extreme comfort or have the opposite affect but, hey, beauty is pain right? They can make us feel sporty, flirty, pretty, or professional and without the right shoes, we’re just not ready for the day.
That’s why I think this verse is so spot on:
“Stand firm then…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6: 14a, 15 (NIV)
God had some super cute shoes in mind for us here in Ephesians. They aren’t sassy and they won’t turn you into little miss bossy pants. No, these shoes that should be on our feet are shoes that make us ready at all times to share the Gospel of Peace.
I picture them to be like Cinderella’s shoes. Beautiful, delicate, transparent so all can see the depths of them. They’re strong at the same time, ready for anything. They click clack on the floor as we walk, and with each step, they announce not just our presence but the presence of the One who sent us. And just like Cinderella, the gospel of peace is our calling card, left on the step waiting to be found.
It’s not just about the shoes though. It’s about what they can do for us.
The Gospel of Peace transforms us from ordinary to extraordinary. When we are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel, we immediately become messengers, ambassadors of Christ. The gospel gives us power, a leg up, authority to change the world through the message of Jesus far more than any high heel ever could.
When I get home, I immediately take off my shoes and put on my slippers. With that small gesture I am announcing that I am in. Staying. Not ready to go. My work is done and I’m not planning on interacting with the world. When I put my shoes on though, I am planning on leaving. Going. They make me ready.
Our feet are to be fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. That means that we are never to be putting on spiritual slippers, the equivalent of hunkering down, closing ourselves off, and staying in our bubble. Slippers don’t make any sound when you walk. They have no presence and they speak of nothing but your comfort.
These shoes, the beautiful high heels of good news and peace, they certainly speak. They announce beauty and redemption to the world. They make our message bigger, taller, more noticeable. They are graceful and unique. Bold and beautiful. This gospel of peace is the envy of the world and there are enough pairs for everyone.
They might be uncomfortable at times, as all heels are, but it’s not about our comfort, it’s about the message we are carrying. After all, the beauty of the gospel came through pain. We are to be laying our own comforts down for the sake of sharing the gospel.
“Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer yourselves as a living sacrifice, Holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1 (NIV)
We know how to make a statement with our shoes, don’t we ladies? Let’s strap on those stilettos and be ready. Ready to go and share and show off the gospel of peace. Let the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace surround you and give you confidence. Know that with each step you take and each chance you get to share the love of Jesus, you have the authority to take back this world for Him. Fortunately for you, it’s not all in your head like a little girl I once knew.